Although it can be argued that getting brand new customers to patronize your online business should be the top priority of any eCommerce business second to maximizing profit, it is equally important to pay attention to customer retention to ensure that those first-time customers revisit and do not just make a single purchase and never look back.
By nurturing existing relationships, your brand can achieve better results in building customer loyalty. Research shows that retaining a customer costs five times less than acquiring a new one, and there is a 60% – 70% likelihood that existing customers will buy from you which is a high percentage compared to the 5% – 20% chance of selling to a new customer.
In the online marketplace, customers do not make repeated purchases from a vendor just because they like a product or service that they offer, they do so because they feel a sense of connection to the brand that caters to their needs in a unique and tailored manner. People who shop online want to feel valued and important, and while doing so they expect a seamless, easy interaction with the web platform they are shopping on.
This article discusses a few strategies that can help foster loyalty and help secure repeat customers on an e-commerce website.
- Encourage New Customers to Register/Sign up for New Accounts-
Encouraging new customers to register a new account with you allows you to make their shopping experience much more personalized and efficient. A registered customer would have an account page that can serve to enhance their shopping experience by incorporating engaging features such as recently viewed products, frequently searched products, and even loyalty points which can sum up to a discount in the future.
Having registered users helps to keep a detailed log of all your customers as well as potential customers. It helps you gather contact information and share various information regarding products and services tailor-made to each customer’s shopping history. In the process of registering, other information such as birth dates can be collected and this gives the opportunity to reach out to customers on their special occasions. After a purchase, a mail can be sent to say thank you, and subsequently, follow-up emails. Registered customers can also be sent reminders about abandoned carts, re-engagement emails, and promotions about popular products.
- Offer Incentives–
Another famous way to captivate customers is to introduce incentives to encourage them to make more purchases. Existing customers are 30% more likely to spend more on their average orders than new buyers. A great way to show commitment is to incentivize them by giving incentives such as coupons or discount codes that apply to their second purchase. Others include promotions, free shipping, free returns, thank you cards, surprise and delight, and rewarding top customers.
- Re-targeting –
Re-targeting is a digital marketing strategy that involves the re-engagement of users who have previously interacted with your website by targeting them with ads specific to what they previously purchased or searched for. This is a calculated effort that usually works considering the fact loyal customers are 50% more likely to purchase a new product released by a brand
Re-targeting can be site bound, and dynamic, and in some cases, it occurs in the form of personalized emails depending on the interactions that users have had with your shop or with other emails. Some interactions that help boost sales thanks to re-targeting include Abandoned shopping carts, previous customers who have made purchases (emails can be sent to inform them about exclusive discounts available to only repeat customers), and Inactive users are also targeted to remind them of your varieties of products and services or sending them your last blog post
- Harnessing Customer Feedback –
Feedback is a great way to get to know your customers and know their opinions about the products and services that you offer. If you think back to the last bad experience you had with a business and decided to not patronize them anymore, more often, such situations arise because of unpleasant experiences in service delivery. However, having someone from the business reach out personally to inquire about your experience and make things right could have made all the difference and probably made you consider going back on your decision to cut off the brand.
Following up with customers after their interactions with your business can foster strong communication, develop a strong brand perception, and at the same time guarantee an exceptional customer experience.
Through feedback, you gain insight into the performance of products and make informed strategic improvements. This is a guaranteed way to get repeat customers and attract brand new visitors.
- Social Media Engagement –
Social media offers a platform to create specific content that is relevant and relatable to your audience. It is a channel for effective communication and building trust by fostering interactions which is a great way to drive customer loyalty. You can share news, showcase your most loyal customers and control the narrative.
Social media listening tools such as Google Alerts, and Hootsuite provide instant notifications to brand mentions and key phrases to keep you in the loop with every conversation pertinent to your brand.
Generating platform-exclusive content can set you apart from the competition keeping in mind that user psychology varies from one social media platform to another. What works on Instagram may not work on LinkedIn. A consistent social media profile and presence will ensure that you can be easily found on all social channels and it speaks to credibility and professionalism. These are things that customers like to see and it will keep them wanting to see what’s next.
- Seamless UI/UX –
This last item is a no-brainer really. A good way to keep customers glued to your page and always wanting to come back is to get a professional, well-designed page that exhibits a world-class user interface and offers a matchless user experience. On such a platform, important information is easy to find, and customers go through a streamlined path to purchase. Customers do not just want a visually pleasing website, they expect a site that is simple, easy to navigate, easily searchable, and most importantly showcases products, and encourages purchases with reviews.
With all these in mind, as a brand, you need to play your part by churning out only top-quality content that contains multiple relevant links that guide users to reputable websites related to the subject matter. This does not only create a perfect experience for the user, but it also improves your site domain authority. Site speed and mobile responsiveness are also key elements because a large percentage of users will be visiting on their mobile devices.